Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Diving Back In to 'Best Pictures From...'

We've finally completed the new episode of Best Pictures From the Outside In. Each week (As if!) we pull two Oscar winners off the shelf from either end of the Academy's 80 year timeline. Your wait for this 1938 vs. 1997 match was as long as Titanic's running time. But you survived it. Congratulations: You're not Leo, you're Kate!


Mike: The 11th episode of "Best Pictures from the Outside In" takes us sailing through treacherous waters, filled with icebergs and taxmen, animated eyebrows and accidental explosions, and (I'm guessing) finally some serious disagreement among our panel members. In 1938, four years after It Happened One Night, Best Picture went to another Frank Capra film, You Can't Take It With You, the overly madcap tale of love in the midst of Capra's traditional battle between free spirits and hidebound plutocrats. In 1997, maritime disaster struck when Titanic, the fraught tale of love aboard the world's largest metaphor raked in a kadillion dollars and won a kadillion Oscars, including Best Picture.

Both films are focused on inter-class love stories, in each case threatened by interference from one-dimensional rich people who treat the poor like dirt...

"All Aboard" for the full conversation...
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10 comments:

RJ said...

Finally! Love these.

NATHANIEL R said...

we're glad to hear it. We shall try not to have another 3 week break.

RJ said...

I'm just waiting for the Patton v. Sound of Music throwdown

NATHANIEL R said...

omg RJ that's like 100 years away ;)

Glenn said...

Yes! I've been waiting for this one just to see what the thoughts on Titanic ten years after the fact were. Very pleased to see that Nat and Nick, at least, still like it.

As I wrote at Goatdog's blog:

A movie such as Titanic can only be done writ large, and if you're going to do a movie that is BIG then you have to take a few concessions such as - ya know - the need to appeal to an audience, which is why I can forgive some silly dialogue (some?) and Leo fawning because, hey, give the masses what they want you know?

Although, Billy Zane is undefendable.

Daniel said...

I find myself defending Titanic all the time - because despite all the obvious flaws (dialogue, simplistic characters, Billy Zane, Celine Dion), it is an incredibly cinematic piece of work. It taps into awe and fear in primal movie ways, like the first silent short of the train coming into the station. In fact, it functions like a silent epic melodrama, which is why it survives its god-awful dialogue, and why audiences the world over lapped it up. (It was probably improved by dubbing too...)

tomw said...

I also loved Titanic and saw it 5 times at the theatre! I watched it again and agree about the dialogue but not the performances (except Billy Zane). I really love Kate here and will always have fond memory's because it was the movie to get me on the Winslet bandwagon. I also thought Dicaprio was fine....they did the best they could with the dialogue that was given.

Casey F said...

i love these too. not titanic but hey, what can you do. i cant wait until we get into some more divisive ones that i liked... dances with wolves, tho i prefer goodfellas to almost all movies i think dances with wolves would've been my first choice in many other years

ryan said...

Relieved to read Nathaniel and Nick still fancy TITANIC (what about a grade though?) I agree on most of the performances (ohh Billy), though I think Gloria Stuart deserved a bit more credit from you guys for spinning Cameron’s sappy words into fairly moving dialogue. And I’m with Nick 100% on Fisher’s “seamstress” line delivery; flawless and nearly as vivid as the damn ship sinking.

Anyway, this was a real treat… as all the past entries in the series have been. Although now I’m fraught with equal parts anticipation and fear for the next smack down (I do fiercely love my ENGLISH PATIENT). Oh and to go up against GONE WITH THE WIND… that should be real interesting.

Glenn said...

I love this movie so much I even like "My Heart Will Go On". By the end of the movie I'm usually in such a state that that big giant song just kind of comforts me.